Last week Congress passed a two-week extension of government funding at the fiscal year (FY) 2017 level. Federal government funding, under the terms of this continuing resolution (CR) will now run out on December 22 unless a budget deal is reached. Hopefully by December 22 leadership will have settled on a budget deal to raise the defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) cap levels – likely for FY 2018 and FY 2019.
Additional timely topics that may be included in this overall budget negotiation are: a decision on emergency funding for disaster relief, DACA, reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other priorities. A budget deal by December 22 is not a foregone conclusion, but if one is reached then Congress would vote on legislation including these additional items, plus a third CR to keep funding going through at least mid-January. A third CR would give appropriators time to negotiate a year-long omnibus funding bill for FY 2018 using the increased funding under the revised caps.
All education advocates need to take action NOW and send a letter to Congress! CEC urges Congress to permanently eliminate the sequester-level discretionary caps and maintain parity by matching any increases in the defense caps with equal increases in the NDD caps. Congress must eliminate the sequestration caps to make investments in both defense and NDD programs, including education, which are essential to our nation's security and prosperity. Children and youth are counting on strong federal education investments to ensure equitable access to high quality education and early intervention from early childhood to higher education and career and technical and adult education, and to fill gaps where local and state funding is insufficient or where new needs arise.
Tell Congress to:
- Repeal the Budget Control Act sequester-level caps and
- Significantly increase the federal education investment to maximize opportunities for children and youth and their families, schools and programs, and our nation.
Ensure investments are made for education programs, especially special and gifted education and early intervention, and visit CEC's Legislative Action Center to send a letter today!